Magic Slim and the Teardrops
Black Tornado
Blind Pig 5046

Morris "Magic Slim" Holt has come a long way toward finding his own voice since his 1978 Highway Is My Home, which featured just one original song. Holtís third Blind Pig disc since 1990 is just a cut above Gravel Road and Scuffliní in that more than half the titles are originals, including one by his bassist brother, Nick, and his son, Shawn.

Holt is a powerful guitarist with a booming voice thatís perfect for the material at hand. His rendition of Muddy Watersí "Still a Fool" matches the smoldering intensity of his version of "Just to Be With You" on his Rooster LP, Grand Slam ó itself the equal of Muddyís original 1956 recording. The Mississippi native and childhood friend of Magic Sam, who gave him a few pointers, revamps Samís roaring version of "I Feel So Good" ó here titled "Magic Boogie" ó in a way that would undoubtedly have pleased his mentor.

While Holt can boogie with the best of them, I find his relaxed sagas of woman problems more interesting. On "I Canít Trust My Woman" heís "gonna buy me a hound dog to guard my house while Iím gone"; his "Crazy Woman" has a "mind just like a goose. I think Iím goiní down and buy me a tool box, I believe that womanís got a screw loose."

A.C. Reedís pulsating "Iím a Jealous Man" and Joe Scottís "Youíve Got Bad Intentions" ("You ainítí got nice things in mind") complete Holtís catalog of wary distrust of the opposite sex. He makes amends, though, on the last track, Buster Bentonís "Love Like I Wanna," where the tight band really delivers the goods.

ó Miles Jordan

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Boulder, CO, USA.